Health Benefits of Avocado

(and a Recipe, Too!)

It’s known as a butter fruit, an alligator pear, but most commonly, it is the extremely versatile, incredibly nutritious avocado. This super fruit has long been a staple of Mexican cuisine and that of other Latin American cultures, but now, the known health benefits of avocados are leading to a new hunger for ways to add avocados to all diets.

The Amazing Health Benefits of Avocados 

There are few foods with as many nutrients packed into them as avocados. Just one avocado contains healthier fat (monounsaturated fatty acids) than any other fruit source and infuses the body with almost 20 different vital nutrients. Those are the vitamins and minerals that aid the body with weight loss, in producing healthy skin and hair, and giving your body energy.  

Key Nutrients Found in Avocados

One avocado contains half of the daily dose of vitamin K needed for better bone health. One avocado adds beta-sitosterol to your blood, which has been shown to lower your cholesterol and to keep it at a healthy level. Other nutrients found in one avocado include:

  • Vitamin B-6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Beta-Carotene
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • And More!

Less than half of an avocado contains nearly 3 grams of fiber. And even though there are 6 grams of fat and almost 64 calories in a small piece of avocado, it is practically sugar free.

Key Characteristics of Avocados 

Avocados are fatty it’s true, but that fat is the kind of fat that your body needs. In fact, studies show that adding one avocado a day may reduce bad cholesterol (found in saturated fats), particularly for obese people. That in turn reduces the risk of developing heart disease.

Monounsaturated fats are what make up 60% of your brain. Adding it to your diet increases brain activity. It also makes you feel full so that you don’t eat as much. Plus monounsaturated fats help promote skin health and healthier hair by absorbing more nutrients from the food you eat.

Another key characteristic of avocados is their fiber density. There are up to 14 grams of fiber in just one avocado, which leads to better gastrointestinal health. Your bowel movements become more regular and your body is better able to expel waste.

Key Health Benefits of Avocados

All of these nutrients translate into tangible results. There are many health benefits of avocados but here are some of the key health benefits:

Better Vision

Beta-Carotene, usually associated with carrots, is part of the cocktail of nutrients that make avocados such a great source for better eye health. In addition to beta-carotene, avocados contain antioxidants that help protect your eyes from the sun.

Better Bone Health

Everyone knows that you need calcium for healthy bones, but you also need vitamin K. Avocados aid in mineral absorption so not only are you adding more vitamin K to your diet when you eat avocados but you are also aiding with absorption of calcium and vitamin D that you get from other food sources.

Healthier Pregnancies

Folic acid is crucial to healthy pregnancies. Avocados contain folate, which leads to healthier pregnancies and reduced instances of birth defects and miscarriages.

Disease Prevention

While heart disease and osteoporosis are two of the main diseases that avocado is known to help combat, there are recent studies that show that the health benefits of avocados extend to other illnesses and diseases by aiding:

  • Blood Sugar Balance
  • Stroke Prevention
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Weight Loss
  • Diabetes Control
  • And More

The Best Avocado Recipe to Add to Your Diet

Now that you know all of the extraordinary health benefits of avocados, how do you incorporate them into your diet? You may not like avocados and even if you do, you may not have any good avocado recipes that you would want to use every day. You may not even know how to pick a good one. Here’s some help for you! 

First, test the avocado for ripeness. Ripe avocados are a little tender and should squish a little when you press it. You can mash them up when they are very soft and use them in place of mayonnaise or to make baby food. If you prefer firm avocados, you can slice them and add them to a salad. Here’s a great avocado recipe from TheFitCookie.com to get you started!

Easy Avocado Chicken Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1-2 teaspoons course brown mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped vegetables of choice (Consider chopped radishes, carrots, or purple cabbage)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lime juice and mix in the brown mustard, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  2. Mix in the chopped chicken breast and chopped veggies.
  3. Serve on your favorite bread, crackers, or vegetables.
  4. Enjoy!

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